Imperial College Research Software Community Newsletter - April 2020

Getting bored of lockdown and being stuck at home? Starting to really miss your office and your commute to campus? Fear not, this month’s Research Software Community newsletter is here to brighten your day with our usual mix of monthly news and details of some of the very many research software-related events and activities that are now available online to keep you informed, up to date, occupied and help you maintain contact with the wider community! More seriously, we hope you’re all well, staying safe and keeping busy in these challenging and unprecedented times. Whether you’re struggling to manage family or caring responsibilities alongside work, or whether you’re feeling isolated and cut-off from your regular contacts with others and your daily routines, these are difficult times for everyone. We’d like to thank the members of our community, and the many people beyond our community, involved in work to help understand and fight the COVID-19 pandemic. We’d also like send a huge thank you to those members of our community who may now be working on the frontline in the NHS, together with the wider healthcare community, who are all working so hard to provide vital care and support to people directly affected by the virus in these extremely difficult times.

Along with people in many other domains, the research software community has been enthusiastic in making the switch to virtual events so there’s lots going on. We hope you find items of interest among this month’s digest of meetings, workshops, blog posts and news and, as ever, do get in touch with us at if you have suggestions or material for an upcoming newsletter.

Dates for your diary

Looking ahead - some further events that may be of interest in the coming months:

Event cancellations: The current situation is, unfortunately, resulting in the cancellation of some previously announced key events in the annual RSE calendar:

In addition, PyLondinium 2020 (5th-7th June 2020), that we highlighted in last month’s newsletter, has been postponed.

RSE Bytes


Blog posts, tools & more

Research Software of the Month

Our Research Software of the Month for April is the covid19model code for modelling estimated deaths and cases for COVID19. Some of you may be aware of the series of COVID-19 reports that are being released regularly by Imperial’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis. covid19model was released on GitHub alongside Report 13 on 30th March 2020. The code, written in R, and released under an MIT licence, has gained significant interest with over 600 GitHub stars being assigned within the 3 weeks since it was released. The code undertakes calculations for a set of 11 European countries, as detailed in the associated report. A website is now also available presenting the outputs from the code.


This month we have a couple of job opportunities to highlight that may be of interest to members of the community:

Some reminders…

Essential Software Engineering for Researchers: Registration is open for the RSE team’s two Essential Software Engineering for Researchers courses:

Research Software Community Committee: The Research Software Community is run by a committee of 8 volunteers. We’re always looking for new committee members to help bring new ideas, organise events, edit our newsletters and generally help in making the community work for its members. If you’d like to get involved, or you have any questions, contact Jeremy Cohen.

RS Community Slack workspace: A new Slack workspace is available for members of the RS Community and RSEs based at nearby institutions. It was set up following discussions at December’s Winter Seminars event and you can join via this link.

RCS Clinics: The Research Computing Service continues to run a weekly clinic for all matters related to research computing. Clinics are now running online. Bring along your HPC or programming problem or just come to talk (virtually) to the RSE team about your (or their!) work. See the schedule for dates and locations of upcoming clinics.

Imperial Research Software Directory: If you’re developing open source research software at Imperial then please consider submitting it to the Research Software Directory by either opening a pull request or dropping a line to Mark Woodbridge (

Get in Touch, Get Involved!

That’s all for this month. Thanks to everyone who suggested links for this edition.

Drop us a line with anything you’d like included in the newsletter, ideas about how it could be improved… or even offer to guest-edit a future edition!

If you’re reading this on the web and would like to receive the next newsletter directly to your inbox then please subscribe to our RSE Community Mailing List here.

This issue of the Research Software Community Newsletter was edited by Jeremy Cohen. All previous newsletters are available in our online archive.